Oakland voters approved Measure Y, which will extend just cause eviction protection to owner-occupied duplexes and triplexes. Measure Y amends Oakland’s Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance to remove the exemption that allowed landlords to evict tenants in duplexes and triplexes without just cause if the owner lived in the building. This exemption applied as soon as the owner moved into the building, even if the tenants had lived in their units long before the owner moved in. Essentially, under the old law, tenants in two-unit and three-unit buildings could immediately lose their eviction protections with no notice at all.
The exemption encouraged landlord abuse. Many landlords adopted an “eviction business model” in which an unscrupulous landlord would purchase a duplex or triplex with rent-controlled, eviction-protected tenants, move into one of the units, then immediately evict the remaining tenants. The landlord could then turn around and sell a vacant building at a huge profit. That loophole in Oakland’s rent ordinance is now closed.
Although it’s a small change, this amendment should reduce evictions in Oakland.
The text of the amendment can be viewed here.